50 Books by Authors of Color: Book 22
Title: If I Die in Juarez
Author: Stella Pope Duarte
If I Die In Juarez is likely one of the more thought provoking works I’ve read so far in this project. I had formerly read Women Who Live In Coffee Shops: And Other Stories by the same author and was relatively underwhelmed by the majority of the stories with the exception of one called Vicki’s Thirteen. Like Vicki’s Thirteen, If I Die in Juarez, was both emotional and extremely well written.
If I Die In Juarez follows four young women who live in or move to the city of Juarez, known for its drug cartels and violence against women. They all come from different backgrounds but they have one thing in common, poverty. In some cases you feel more for the girls than others. For example Evita, a thirteen-year-old girl who is kicked out of her mother’s home when her mother thinks that her own boyfriend is sleeping with Evita, is forced into prostitution in order to survive. Petra on the other hand works in a factory and is enchanted and infatuated with her boss.
All of the women live in fear, believing that none of them are safe from the rapist and murders that live among them and knowing full well that they do not have the protection of the police. Who cover up the murders and claim that all of the dead women were prostitutes either on the side or full time. It was amazing to read about how these four different women all were afraid of the same things but still managed to live, work and survive in Juarez. We see them come face-to-face with danger and hold our breaths as we can only hope they survive.
Overall Rating: 5/5